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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sushi Porn

Mmmmmm...Raawrrrr... Ok, I'll make it PG-13. Sushi King on Wilshire is one sushi-licious establishment fit for a Princess. Meow! Yellow Tail...
Monkfish Liver
Japanese Mackerel
Giant Clam
Scallop Roll
Aftermath...So Good.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Cat v. Sumo Wrestlers

The Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena kicked off its Fusion Friday, eh last Friday, and yours truly joined F and J for a night out at the museum... I got there a bit late so the sumo demonstration had just started and the host was taking questions from the audience... and suddenly I spotted F and J and waved...

Host: I saw a hand over there, do you have a question, did you raise your hand?
Cat: eh, I was waving at my friends, but I could ask a question, blahblahblah bs bs bs, blah...
Host frowns a bit: that's a loaded question, but blahblahblah... there are girl sumo wrestlers.
Cat: So do girl sumo wrestlers also wear diapers?
Audience: Gasp.
F and J: we don't know her.

*Blush* Guess Cat says the darndest things. I somehow managed to dishonor one of the most time honored sports in Japan where tradition is everything... you know in the past people commit harakiri just because they trip on the sumo master's robe or something... glad they didn't make me do that :P
I didn't know sumo wrestling could be so exciting. They are incredible athletes underneath all that blubber. They have all my respect.
Also highly recommended is the museum itself, it's small, intimate and just beautiful. Woo, nice fat koi fishies, sushi? Keke :P

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Picnic des Chefs

Meow! The French sure know how to host a fabulous event... Picnic des Chefs hosted by the Club Culinaire of French Cuisine was so much fun!
Beautiful afternoon for the picnic...
Look at all the food. Pate, cured salmon,grilled chicken, quiche, beef bourguignon, thank goodness for google :) I would've never been able to spell it...
Dessert... mmmm. Strawberries and marshmallows dipped in chocolate...
Here is what happens when you mix kids and chocolate fondue... lol. L and A are so cute!
Perfect weather!  Ahhh, what a relaxing Sunday.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

To lords and ladies of Shanghai, of what is past, or passing, or to come...

Entry to The Shanghai Custom House built in 1927 ... notice the architectural details?
Beautiful art deco stained glass entry way at the Peace Hotel, built in 1929.
YongAn (Forever Peace) Department Store, one of the oldest department stores in Shanghai, founded in 1918 in this 6 story building. In 1966, during the height of the Cultural Revolution, it was renamed East is Red Department Store and fortunately in 2005 it changed back to its original name.
Tree lined street of Shanghai. These British Planes trees are know as French Oak in Shanghai because they populate most of the streets in the French Concession.
Grandma dance troupe practicing at the Nanjing Road Pedestrian Shopping Street... good for them!
An Apple growing on a tree branch in Shanghai :)
Pudong Business District Skyline.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Hangin' in Shanghai

Mojito bar in Tianzifang (田子坊)... yeah baby, who needs catnip when I can get some mojito... lol.
Da Gold Nugget: the new religion of the Communist Party.
Red Army Love Story: Hooray to Love! Notice angry bird behind these cute little red army soldiers?
Red Amy Bedscene: allow me to translate the writing on the chastity bedboard, Chairman Mao says, if you do hanky panky without the purpose of getting married, then you are a baddie... that's right, a baddie!
Tianzifang is a series of alley ways lined with bars, restaurants, coffee shops... and you throw in some expats from every corner of the world and a few locals (hanging their newly washed undies to dry) and a kitty cat purring away, you get awesomeness!
Pretty lights hanging off of a covered path.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I love Kinmen (金門)

I arrived in Xiamen yesterday and decided to take a ferry to visit the Taiwanese Island of Kinmen (金門). Although Kinmen is officially under Taiwan's jurisdiction, it is much closer to Mainland China than it is to Taiwan, as you can see from my iPhone's GPS below (which apparently also has a facial recognition feature :P).  I took this picture on the ferry from Xiamen to Kinmen. The island in the middle, Lieyu, is called Little Kinmen in Chinese.  It is clearly visible from Xiamen, about two miles away.
Jinmen Huan Yin Neng! (Kinmen Welcome You). Upon arrival, I hired a local taxi driver/guide to drive me around the island for a few hours...
Here is the former residence of a Kinmen native who made a fortune in Indonesia about one hundred years ago, then returned to build schools and hospitals to help his fellow Kinmen kinsmen. You can clearly see the western influence on the architecture.
Close up of the entrance.
The most interesting part of the trip, however, was a tour of a tunnel that Chiang Kai-Shek's government dug to aid the island. Apparently during a period of strong animosity, Mao Tse Tung instituted a blockade on the island and supply ship had to be sent secretly from Taiwan, about 170 miles away. To avoid shelling from the Red Army, they dug a tunnel so that the supply ship could dock and unload safely... here is the entrance to the tunnel.
I was surprised at how wide the tunnel was... according to my guide, they had to make it wide so that trucks could go through.
The tunnel/canal is shaped liked a U, with an opening at each end so that ship can enter from one and exit from the other.
I had no idea it was a watery canal until I saw the reflection.
This is not a reflection but the bottom of the sea. The water is very clear.
The other end of the tunnel.
Tanks! In August 1969, Kinmen was heavily shelled by the Red Army. Reminders of the hostility are still scattered all over the island. In fact, they have become the island's main tourist attraction.
Yours truly at I think the highest point on Kinmen Island. From there, on a clear day, Xiamen is clearly visible. According to my guide, when they used binoculars to look at Xiamen, they could even see people walking on the streets!
I wish I had taken more pictures of the charming villages in Kinmen instead of documenting its military history. It is truly a beautiful island. People are laid back, the air is clean, the land is lushly green... just lovely. Nearing the end of my tour, my guide recommended this beef noodle shop popular with locals to me. I saw several happy Kinmen cows grazing the lush meadows on the island and figured the local beef must be very good, and not hormone infested. And it was true.  The beef was so tender, the greens so fresh. Before I left, I bought nine bags of Kinmen beef jerky for family and friends. 
Ferry back ... will definitely return.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Kiss my tush, TGFWofC

I write to you live from Xiamen, China... as with all blogs hosted by blogger, whereiscat is blocked by Chinese censors. Being IT illiterate, I never thought one day I'd breach the Great Firewall of China, but this day has come. It turned out the VPN icon was smacked in the middle of my laptop and I did not know.  *Blush*, although it was not as heroic as I would've liked, it was a victory nonetheless. So pucker up, TGFWofC, and kiss my tush! Yeah, right there.
Anyhoo. After arriving, I headed to the closest mall to get some water and snacks ... when I got there, I looked left ...
and right...
And straight ahead... WTF? I flew like 10K miles and I am in ... Kansas?
I walked back to the hotel, holding a 2 buck sun umbrella I bought at walmart, when in Rome be like Roman women and avoid the sun at all cost.  Just as I thought China was becoming bland and boring like the Midwest (no offense MidWest) and filled with giggly teenage girls from well to do families who swarm the cosmetics counters at Watson's, I passed by some street vendors frantically scurrying away from Chen-Guans (city inspectors who are more like bullies), if they get caught, they'd likely lose a week or a month's earnings, a man dressed in unkempt clothing holding a scavenger bag, he had a little girl with him dressed in equally dirty clothes, a family of Muslim Chinese sitting idly in front of their empty noodle shop, what brought them all the way from the dry highlands of northwest China to the opposite corner, humid and near tropical Xiamen? and eventually I stopped by this mom and pop Guilin rice fen restaurant.  Well, don't you think it looks like a bowl of noodle soup?  When I tried to order these "noodles", the proprietoress quickly corrected me, these are "mi fen" (rice fen) not mian (noodles)... whatevers, to this Shanghainese princess, all stringy floury thingies are noodles, and all non-Shanghainese cuisines are ... country bumpkin cuisines, including French :P